I’m so excited to have my good friend Jessica Goldfond of The Shiny Squirrel on the blog today. Especially as part of my women series this month because she is one of the most intelligent, creative, and strong women I know. I met Jessica a few years back when I started my blog. We immediately liked each other’s taste and aesthetic based on our own blogs (her blog is amazing btw), but when we met in person, we became quick friends. Jessica owns her own PR company in Brooklyn, NY which has really blown up since I met her. The photo above is of jewelry from one of her clients The Boyscouts and the pictures below are from her past two incredible lookbooks. So without further ado, Jessica answers a few Q’s about how she built her business, how she finds all the amazing brands she represents, and what she has in store for the future.
Q. What is your background? Have you always worked in the fashion industry?
A. I went to school for Art History and had always imagined I would work in a museum or art gallery, but after interning at a gallery in college I realized I didn’t want to be involved in the industry like that. I have always really loved fashion but never imagined I would be in PR or involved in the fashion industry like I currently am.
Q. What prompted to create your own PR company/showroom?
A. I was working in a mind numbing fashion job that didn’t really allow me to be creative and the whole experience pushed me to explore other things I was interested in. I felt like I knew so many local designers that needed to take their business to the next level and because I had been blogging and involved in social media for a while I felt like I could help them. I always loved working on branding and discussing the overall vision of these designers and how to expand.
Q. What were some of the challenges you faced when you were getting started?
A. I started my business with no experience, no contacts and no money so I worked at my corporate job for a while and just reached out to people consistently for months. I knew that I could never leave my job until I was fully established within my company so I just did both at 100% which was time consuming but really paid off for me.
Q. You have an amazing roster of clients, what is the process of finding brands/individuals you want to work with and represent?
A. I think the process is really organic in finding people sometimes people reach out or I get recommended from clients or friends. There has also been times recently where I find someone I like and send them a little message. I definitely started looking for holes in my roster and have been going after certain designers that I feel are filling a void in my offering.
Q. You provide your clients with public relations, sales representation, event planning, and brand development assistance. Needless to say, you’re a busy woman! Can you give us a peek at what a typical day for you is?
A. I usually get up around 6:30 or 7:00 every morning and blog for about an hour or two then go have breakfast in the neighborhood and read or just enjoy some quiet time. I usually end up at my office because I just moved into my own space on Broadway and I work on Press Pulls or have meetings with clients. I try to go to the gym during the day as well if I can squeeze it in and then I meet up with my boyfriend for coffee when he gets out of work so we can both catch up with each about our days. I also tend to go to dinner or watch movies at home at night.
Q. What are some goals you have for The Shiny Squirrel or projects that you’re particularly looking forward to?
A. I think this year I am really trying to streamline the business and boost the editorial content for my own website which includes more look book collaborations and launching an interview portion of my site called Lunch Date. It is slowly but surely coming along. I am looking forward to potentially doing a Vegas Tradeshow in August and traveling a few times within the United States this year for both business and personal. I hope The Shiny Squirrel stays on the same path it has been for a while as we seem to be working on more press and bigger and better stores in the last year. My boyfriend and I are also launching our own Mens Jewelry line that is going ot come out in July called JW Atticus…I feel that I can come to this industry with experienced and fresh eyes because of what I do.
Q. As a successful businesswoman who owns her own business, do you have some sage advice for other women hoping to start their own companies in the fashion industry?
A. The only thing I can really say is things take a lot of time to manifest themselves and to not get discouraged if something doesn’t exactly go the way you had initially intended too. My career has definitely been a series of building blocks that has formed over time and it is the accumulation of my efforts which has made the business successful not the “one” big thing I thought was going to happen. Success is definitely waking up everyday and getting to forge my own path and this is sometimes not defined by money or material possessions.